Do health insurance plans cover maternity expenses?

Maternity health insurance

“Maternity Plans” are not really separate plans. It is a feature which may be covered under normal health plans. However, only a few health plans offer maternity cover as part of their normal health plans.

Key features of maternity cover are as follows:

  • There is usually a separate waiting period for maternity coverage – This means that any claims with respect to maternity will be catered to only after the maternity specific waiting period is over
  • Almost all plans have an upper cap on the amount of expenses that will be covered – Usually the coverage ranges from INR 25000 – 50000 per delivery. The reason most policies have an upper cap is because the number of claims for maternity is likely to be very high. The purpose of Health Insurance is to protect you from any sudden outflow of funds due to a medical emergency. The occurrence of maternity is almost certain and hence a limit on the same is warranted
  • Pre – maternity costs are generally not covered – Most plans which offer maternity coverage generally do not cover any expenses that are incurred towards consultancies and tests
  • New born coverage – Generally, the new born baby is covered till the end of policy year

Should you buy a health plan only because it provides maternity coverage?

Maternity should ideally be treated as a bonus option. The overall decision behind buying a health plan should ideally be the key features which are relevant for any kind of hospitalization. Imagine a plan providing good maternity coverage but having a claim settlement ratio of 70%. Therefore, choosing a plan just because it provides maternity coverage may not be the best decision to take.

However, in case you have a choice between two equally good plans with one of them providing maternity coverage with or without some extra premium, then it might make sense to take the plan with the maternity clause. Especially, if you are planning a kid in next few years.

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